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LuiB

LuiB: tapering off Invega Sustenna and other drugs

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LuiB

I have been on Invega Sustenna for just about over 2 years. I was initially diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. I remember having paranoid thoughts in the past, going through mania and being depressed. So I (only recently) realize that this diagnosis/label makes sense.

 

However, I still have desire to taper off and get off the meds because

 

1) I do believe that I am better able to cope and deal with arising issues that I may face

 

2) I believe there are alternative medical routes I can take for example that natural path like TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) or Naturopathy.

 

3) Having a support team and friends and family who you can talk to to deal with things where before, for example, I would keep things to myself and would bear with the torture all on my own which in and of itself is not healthy.

 

I started seeing a Naturopathic Doctor around 3 months ago and I started taking Vitamin B, C, Rhodiola, and Omega 3 which in a couple of weeks had a drastic influence in how i felt, my thoughts (patterns) and general outlook on life became drastically more positive.

 

I dropped my invega from 100mg to 75mg (its an injection so thats the lowest increment decrease) and I started feeling my withdrawal 3 weeks in.

 

I didnt have any motivation to get out of bed, I was sleeping all the time etc. i beleive this is just my minds way of reacting to not having that chemical in my brain any more (or a lower dosage of it).

 

After a month I started getting paranoid thoughts and I did have a few times where it was overwhelming. A couple of times it was when I was going to bed, I would sleep with paranoid thoughts however they were controllable and I could change the perspective of them fairly easily. At other times they were in social occasions.

 

Past few days were fine. My sleeping pattens are much better and I am back to being productive and motivated. If things still look good this coming months I will drop the injection to 50mg next month.

 

What I am always wondering about, however, and this is where I could use the opinion of you guys is, r these symptoms that I am experiencing just withdrawal symptoms or could they be an onset of the medical condition and continuing down this path might prove to be a very difficult one.

 

Thanks for 'listening'

 

Lui

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AliG

Hi Lui.   I'm pleased that you found your way here and have the desire to taper off your medication. It's great that you have come to  a place in your life where you feel confident to get off your meds using coping skills, alternative medicine and a support team as well as friends and family.

 

I hope that SA will be an extension of that support for you throughout this process.

 

Can I ask you to fill out your drug history signature with a brief version ( 12 - 18 months) of your recent history including drugs,dates, dosages, discontinuations and reinstatements etc. It appears below each of your posts and enables us to see your situation at a glance. This will also help us to offer more concise advice.

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

It's likely you're suffering withdrawal symptoms from dropping the dose too quickly. Careful tapering is necessary when you have had psychotic symptoms.  Also, are you working with your doctor's cooperation with this taper ?  Once we have a little more information we can help guide you through this.

 

In the meantime have a read through this link on tapering Invega Sustenna.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7101-tips-for-tapering-off-invega-paliperidone/

 

This is your thread to record your progress and ask questions, as well as keeping in touch with the community.

Welcome to SA.

Ali

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LuiB

Yeah, I just went to my psychiatrist today. I was completely honest with her and told her that after tapering from 100mg to 75 two months ago I ended up with a wacky sleeping schedule that was fixed two weeks after my my Naturopathic Doctor who gave me Melatonin as a sleep aid.

 

I did have 3 paranoid episodes too, which I told her about.

 

After that she mentioned that she wants me to go back on 100mg. I told her I would rather have a few episodes a month and feel this alive and have vitality than go back to my numbed out life. She seemingly agreed that this I am not having any major problems but still insisted I get back on 100mg.

 

At the end of the meeting I explained to her that I would rather her be supportive of me getting off my medications slowly, especially that she is obviously seeing positive results, than to keep insisting that I go back on a higher dose.

 

You know what she said, she said I'm protecting you.

 

In addition, she explained that I want to be put on the record that I advised you to increase the dosage, so that if you get into any trouble (with the cops etc.) that she not be held responsible!

 

So anyway its been like 5 days since i've had a psychotic episode, so they are far and in between. 

 

I hope it's just withdrawal like Ali said, because I did have them before the meds started so could I have just suddenly healed from it?

 

Even the DSM says its not a life-long illness which the psychiatrists seem to insist they are.

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jmncrr

LuiB,

 

What other drugs do you take? Put them in your signiture.

 

Thanks

 

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LuiB

Guys, signature updated.

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Altostrata

Welcome, LuiB.

 

It sounds like you might be planning to decrease your dosage too fast.

 

You can't do much about the withdrawal symptoms because you're getting an injection; it would be very complicated to get a request for an intermediary dosage through the hospital system.

 

But you may wish to reduce every 3 months, or longer, instead of every month. You don't want to throw yourself back into a thought and behavior pattern that will get you maximally drugged again.

 

You will need to find ways to manage your symptoms when they arise. Making your reductions more gradual will give you time to learn how to do this.

 

This will also give your doctor more confidence in your ability to handle yourself without drugs.

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LuiB

Alostrata, thanks.

 

I am unaware as to why you believe I am tapering off my drugs too fast. The first time I tapered i spent atleast 6 months on that dose, and the 2nd time its my 3rd month. I believe I am and will continue to do so slowly.

 

I am doing this with the guidance of my ND who has many years experience in mental health and explains that the way i'm tapering off is fine. Although the last time I saw him around 2 weeks ago he explained that he suggests I go back to 100mg because he's 'worried about me' due to the fact that my sleeping went raccus. I was sleeping at 6am and waking up at 10pm, much different than the person I was when I went to see him a month earlier.

 

I am, however, feeling much better now. My energy is back to normal and also my sleeping is back to normal.

 

Thanks for your input.

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Altostrata
It sounds like you might be planning to decrease your dosage too fast.

 

 

I've given a complete explanation. If you would rather follow your ND's instructions, you are welcome to do so. We have not seen any vitamin or supplement regimen that can eradicate withdrawal symptoms. In your case, the stakes are even higher, since your psychiatrist is dubious you can go off the drugs.

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LuiB

First of all, Altostrate, what are you saying?

 

Second, I still don't understand how when I've had symptoms in the past indicating mood disorders etc. how they will have disappeared by now after eventually stopping the medications... And that the only thing I have to worry or deal with is about the withdrawal symptoms.

 

If I was going to get very peculiar about having minimal dosage reductions (i.e. 10%) then I could have a combo of the injection and pill form next time I ween off (when I go down to 50mg) However that might actually end up increasing my dosage rather than decrease it because the lowest dose of the pill form is not that low.

 

My ND has 20 years of mental health experience and has helped many patients get off psychotropic drugs. He uses the same system that is explained here, so I don't know what you mean when you tell me "if you would rather follow my ND's instructions". We, when it comes to the injection, like you also admitted, will not be able to take a lower increments of a dose so we have to spread the reductions more apart... Both you and my ND are on the same page.

 

I am just trying to get a thorough understanding (as much as possible) as to what is going on, as nobody alone seems to have a complete understanding on their own. I get warnings here and there, and and mixed feelings, I go through different psychotic episodes... So some extra guidance is definitely necessary... I cannot do this on my own.

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JanCarol

Hey Lui - 

 

you will likely have psychotic experiences as a withdrawal effect from Invega.

 

I'm glad that you are seeing an ND, but in our experience, even the best natural practitioner is not on top of the way these drugs work.  The fact is, if you are having symptoms, then you are tapering too fast.  Regardless of any schedule of any doctor, naturopathic or not.

 

Were you put on the Invega to begin with for psychotic experiences?  Or was it an attempt to help you sleep?  Or did you "get caught" - that is - public behaviour that got you ordered to have the shots (a common occurrence)  ?

 

You will probably have to go through some DP/DR in order to come off Invega.  Learn more about DP/DR here:

Derealization and Depersonalization

 

There are many of us who have coped with these altered states.  It's not easy, but it's doable, and it does get better.

 

But it requires patience, and being kind and gentle to yourself.  I'm also learning that light weightlifting & circuit training are good for helping your brain heal from neuroleptic drugs.  But again, be gentle, because too much exercise can cause Waves (times of stronger symptoms).  It is important to understand the Waves and Windows pattern of recovery - it applies to all psych drugs, as there is a delayed response from withdrawal from the drugs.

 

If you continue to taper at this rate, you may find yourself in hospital on a more complex cocktail.  It is vital that you be self sufficient in order to come off the drugs, and that means - coping with your symptoms when they arise, or slowing down your taper so that your symptoms are more bearable.

 

I hope you see the sun today!

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LuiB

How am i to slow my taper down when the drug doses are given at certain quantities as an injectable form?!?!

 

Also I was given these injections because of my behaviour in the street and after being hospitalized for close to 2 months.

 

I also have another question.. which is, how will my psychotic episodes disappear after i am done weening off the medications.. 

 

Did I just magically heal from them.. I hope so.. but what do you guys say?

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LuiB

Is there a resource, or somewhere I can turn to, that will give me an answer to my questions?!

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Shep

How am i to slow my taper down when the drug doses are given at certain quantities as an injectable form?!?!

 

Also I was given these injections because of my behaviour in the street and after being hospitalized for close to 2 months.

 

I also have another question.. which is, how will my psychotic episodes disappear after i am done weening off the medications.. 

 

Did I just magically heal from them.. I hope so.. but what do you guys say?

 

Hi, LuiB.

 

I don't think they "magically" go away, however, there are ways of dealing with voices and visuals that can help.  I had hallucinations periodically after coming off my drugs, so I had to be very careful about how I acted so I wouldn't get caught up in the mental health system again. 

 

By doing a slow and careful taper, you're less likely to have psychotic episodes (or at least, they won't be as intense), but it's best to be prepared so they don't catch you off guard.

 

What kind of non-drug coping skills are you doing?

 

This is a post that JanCarol wrote about alternatives to antipsychotics that may give you some insight:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/13002-alternatives-for-psychotic-outbreaks/?p=246508

 

Insomnia and extreme anxiety are very common with people coming off antipsychotics, so please try to find some form of mindfulness, yoga, Tai Chi, etc. to help with these types of symptoms.  This link will get you started on finding something that you enjoy doing that will help with your symptoms:

 

Non-drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Please let us know how you are doing. 

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Altostrata

I have been on Invega Sustenna for just about over 2 years. I was initially diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. I remember having paranoid thoughts in the past, going through mania and being depressed. So I (only recently) realize that this diagnosis/label makes sense.

 

....

I started seeing a Naturopathic Doctor around 3 months ago and I started taking Vitamin B, C, Rhodiola, and Omega 3 which in a couple of weeks had a drastic influence in how i felt, my thoughts (patterns) and general outlook on life became drastically more positive.

 

I dropped my invega from 100mg to 75mg (its an injection so thats the lowest increment decrease) and I started feeling my withdrawal 3 weeks in.

 

I didnt have any motivation to get out of bed, I was sleeping all the time etc. i beleive this is just my minds way of reacting to not having that chemical in my brain any more (or a lower dosage of it).

 

After a month I started getting paranoid thoughts and I did have a few times where it was overwhelming. A couple of times it was when I was going to bed, I would sleep with paranoid thoughts however they were controllable and I could change the perspective of them fairly easily. At other times they were in social occasions.

 

Past few days were fine. My sleeping pattens are much better and I am back to being productive and motivated. If things still look good this coming months I will drop the injection to 50mg next month.

 

What I am always wondering about, however, and this is where I could use the opinion of you guys is, r these symptoms that I am experiencing just withdrawal symptoms or could they be an onset of the medical condition and continuing down this path might prove to be a very difficult one.

 

Thanks for 'listening'

 

Lui

Lui, you reduced from 100mg to 75mg Invega injection and had over a month of destabilization. We would call this destabilization a withdrawal symptom.

 

One aspect of the destabilization was almost overwhelming paranoid thoughts.

 

It's good that your nervous system stabilized eventually, but your next decrease might bring on more severe withdrawal symptoms. I suggest that rather than decreasing your injection every month, you decrease it every 3 months, giving your nervous system a good long time to rest between drug changes.

 

When it rests, your nervous system gets stronger for the next dosage decrease. It will need to be stronger.

 

A decrease from 100mg to 75mg is 25% but a decrease from 75mg to 50mg is 33%. This is a bigger jump and could be more destabilizing. A decrease from 50mg to 25mg is an even bigger proportionate decrease -- 50%.

 

It's important for you to keep your nervous system as stable as possible. If you start to have psychosis-like symptoms similar to the ones you had before going on Invega, it's likely your psychiatrist will be convinced you cannot go without the drug. She may force you to take a higher dosage.

 

If you wish to live without drugs, you will have to be careful going off Invega. You will need to listen to your body and not stress it with large drug changes.

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LuiB

Thank you to all who have shared their knowledge, advise and wisdom with me.. Everyone who posted here.

 

Coming back and reading what you have mentioned to me was very enlightening.

 

I am doing much better now. Hardly any psychosis if it happens at all is very mild and manageable. Meditation helps a tonne which I do an hour of daily.

 

Having control of the thoughts and transmuting the negative/paranoid thoughts to ambition and focusing on life goals help a lot too.

 

But all in all I can't even remember the last time this has happened (psychosis). Only what I mentioned in this thread and maybe 2 more time.

 

I completely agree that a drop from 75 to 50 is a really big one (33%), and I am unwilling to do that. There must be some way to deal with this issue; even after giving myself a big break... I am planning to do a reduction next year.

 

As Altostrata mentioned an idea of having the drug of requesting an intermediary dosage. I was wondering if anyone has done that on here and if so how was it done. Who should I bug or ask and request this?

 

If that doesnt work, then perhaps I would switch to the pill form. Or a combination of pill and injection to match a 10% decrease.

 

As with DP/DR, this is also quite worrisome. I realize because of this, it would be good to have some kind of solid structure and basis for my life, no?

 

I am currently in the process of building my online business and there are still many what ifs and uncertainties. Income is also sparse as well atm and there is no absolute guarantee for income for the future. Things could go well and skyrocket, or **** doesnt work out quite well or anywhere in between too. 

 

With that, I am feeling very passionate about my work and hopeful. My energy levels are great. I exercise (run 4km in 30 mins 4x/week) I do pushups after i run. I spend time outdoors walking my dog. I am on the Ketogenic diet which has some studies for its benefit in mood stabilization for bipolar patients. My life is very fulfilling. Not perfect (in a way) but consciously striving for it daily.

 

I am extremely happy to hear from you and looking forward to your responses/advise/comments.

 

Best Regards

 

Lui

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Shep

Hi, Lui.

 

This is a very positive update.  :)

 

I'm concerned about the order you're coming off your drugs. Are you coming off the antipsychotic first? Please read over this thread, as it gives a lot of useful information on how to decide which drug to come off first:

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

We really do need to get more information from you before helping with more tapering advice. It helps to see your symptoms in context with when you take your drugs.

 

Please let us know the times your take all your drugs and supplements and your symptoms using this format:

 

Keep notes on paper about your drug dosages and daily symptom pattern

 

This will really help because even though you don't have control over your antipsychotic injection, it will help to know how your other drugs are doing in relation to symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, GI distress, etc. 

 

Please keep us updated. It does sound like you're doing really well with your non-drug coping skills. 

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Shep

Hi, Lui.

 

In response to your specific questions about going from Invega injection to pill form, please see this thread:

 

Tips for Tapering off Invega 

 

It links to a chart showing the tablet versus injection doses.  See Sec. 2.2. Table 4 on http://dailymed.nlm....554#section-2.7 for the equivalents of Invega Sustenna (injection) and Invega extended-release tablets (Note: you'll need to click on "View all sections" in order to see the different sections, including the tables). 

 

 

 

 

Who should I bug or ask and request this?

 

 

To read about others who are tapering Invega, you can see a list of "also tagged" at the bottom of this screen. Also, you can see it by clicking on your own tag (your tags are listed underneath the title of this thread). This will show you everyone who is tagged with Invega. 

 

 

 

As Altostrata mentioned an idea of having the drug of requesting an intermediary dosage. I was wondering if anyone has done that on here and if so how was it done. 

 

 

An intermediary dosage would be somewhere between 75 mg and 50 mg, but I would err on the side of caution and try to stay as close to a 10% reduction if possible. 

 

Is your doctor open to you switching to the pill form? 

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LuiB

Hey Shep, thanks for the links. Will read them when I have some time I can dedicate to this.

 

As for now, i believe tapering off the Invega first is the best route since it has the longest half life (4 months I think). So it has been mentioned that it would be the to start the tapering process.

 

My doctor is becoming more receptive to my advances in reducing the meds, and will comply, at least eventually, if I ask to be switched to the pill form.

 

So perhaps I need to find a combo of the 50mg injection and the 3mg pill however that combo will end up making take more invega than i am taking now.

 

Please advise

 

Thanks again

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JanCarol

Hey Lui - 

 

which is, how will my psychotic episodes disappear after i am done weening off the medications.. 

 

Did I just magically heal from them.. I hope so.. but what do you guys say?

 

 

That is the $100,000 question!

 

The short answer, no.  You don't magically heal from them.  You have to work at it, work at yourself, work at your non-drug techniques - and - as someone who has seen into the world of "psychosis" (I hate that word, I prefer "perceptual intrusions") - you have an extra responsibility to resolve them.

 

Look at spiritual emergence, and spiritual emergencies.  There is a growing trend in looking at the crisis that sent you to hospital as a crisis of stress, of trauma, and possibly of abuse.  But I don't want to focus on that - what happens in these times of stress, is your conscious mind "checks out" and your sub- and unconscious mind takes over and runs the show.

 

Well, the subconscious mind is non-linear, and the unconscious mind is pre-verbal.  So the stuff you experience in those places don't match up to the same reality that humans have agreed upon.  It is scary to the other humans, to see this distress and be completely unable to understand it, to communicate with someone in that state.  It's like the signals are scrambled.

 

But here's the thing - communicating it is vital to healing it.  Unfortunately, the drugs just suppress these signals, lock them in a cage so that they can be either completely quashed (and drain your personality) or - so that they go into training to try again to communicate - whatever it was - they were trying to say about your original stressors.

 

It's symbolic.  It's non-linear.  But it's still real, in the head of the person who is experiencing it.

 

Exploring your emergency, is key to understanding your emergence.  This is why it is so vital for people who have experienced these states to use art, music, language (writing, poetry) to express these places which don't quite mesh with consensual society.  Express them, and learn from them.

 

I have spelled out pieces of my spiritual emergence, here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/13250-journaling-journalling-writing-therapy-therapeutic-writing/  and there are tools there, to help you explore your inner states and work on reconciling them with the life that you want.

 

There are resources for you to get support in your journey, and learn what others are doing, and perhaps even find a coach to guide you through your process:

Alternatives for Psychotic Outbreaks

 

Google the phrases "Spiritual Emergence" and "Spiritual Emergency" - look for the TED talk by Phil Borges.  Learn all you can, you're going to need all the help you can get!

 

I agree with Shep's suggestions for taking care of your body, too.  Taking care of your body and your mood is the very basics.  That's the Non-Drug techniques.

 

Learning how to stay well - is a life's work.  But it is an ultimately fulfilling one.  There are many who have come through removal of their drugs and will never go back.  Some of them may still have intrusive perceptions, or DP/DR, or struggle with consentual reality - but they've learned to function, and thrive, and engage in their lives again.  Possibly becoming better and stronger than they were before.

 

I know that I am.  The darkness may come for me again - but I know it now, it is a part of me.  I will embrace it like a long-lost friend, and welcome it for what it will teach me about my own form and structure in this world.  A painting without black is ill defined.  It is the shadow which teach us where the light is.

 

I'll come back shortly to look at dosage suggestions for the interim...

 

Will your doctor help you with "step down" tablets to help make your tapers slower?

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JanCarol
So perhaps I need to find a combo of the 50mg injection and the 3mg pill however that combo will end up making take more invega than i am taking now.

 

 

OK the depot thing is complicated.

 

I've known people to go quite off their trees at the end of the month, waiting on their depot shots.  

 

3 mg = 90 mg injection (on the date of the injection).

 

So here's a plan:

Stay on the 78 mg injection until the new year.  

 

You think you are stable on the 78 mg injection now, right?  That's good!  Stay there, and don't change anything yet!

 

Get 3 mg Invega tablets from your doctor.

 

When you are on your LAST MONTH before getting ready to get injected, take the injection.  78 mg.

After 7 days, add 1 mg of tablet.

After 14 days, increase to 2 mg tablet

after 21 days, increase to 3 mg tablet.

 

Then, when the shot wears off at 4 weeks (28 days), you will be converted over to 3 mg of Invega per day. 

 

If you want to take exactly 78 mg, that would be 2.6 mg, but I am trying to keep the maths simple.  If you want to do liquid tapering, this is quite possible (see below).

 

The goal is to make the transition over to the tablet in one month.  You will be actually increasing your dose slightly, but once you are on the tablets, you will be in control of your taper.

 

So then, for at least a month, take the 3 mg tablet daily (at the same time every day).  Make sure you shake out all the symptoms of the transition.

 

After that, you will be ready for a 10% taper.  In order to make your 10% taper (since the smallest pill size is 3 mg), you will need to learn the following:

Dry Cutting:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2021-how-to-cut-up-tablets-or-pills-using-a-pill-cutter/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1596-using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses/

 

Liquid Taper:

How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-using-an-oral-syringe-and-other-tapering-techniques/

 

Because of the small dose of 3 mg, I recommend making your own liquid.  It really is easier to make precise doses.  WIth the liquid, you can use the following schedule to add the tablets in:

Day 7 = .9 mg tablet (in liquid)

Day 14 = 1.8 mg tablet (in liquid)

Day 21 = 2.6 mg tablet (total 78 mg equivalent)

 

What do you think?  Does this sound possible for you?  Is your doctor amenable to switching you over to tablets for a gentle taper?

 

You've been through the symptoms, and you recognize that they do go away or diminish with time - do you think you have the discipline to do this slowly and carefully to minimize symptoms?

 

The decision is yours, but I think I've laid out a possible course to navigate through the complexities of converting a depot shot to a tablet.

 

PS - I love your handsome kitty cat on your videos!  Wow!

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LuiB

 

The short answer, no.  You don't magically heal from them.  You have to work at it, work at yourself, work at your non-drug techniques - and - as someone who has seen into the world of "psychosis" (I hate that word, I prefer "perceptual intrusions") - you have an extra responsibility to resolve them.

 

 

JanCarol, I am immensely grateful for all that you have shared. You are really terrific and I don't know what I can do to repay you. Please let me know.

 

The statement that I quoted from you and made bold "you have an extra responsibility to resolve them." rings very true with me.

 

I can also, in the back of my mind, take account of consciously biting off more than I can chew with spirituality. 

 

I can go deeper into this privately as it is an intimate matter if you are interested.

 

Of course you also mention childhood experiences (negative ones like traumas) that can also be conductive to such diagnosis.

 

So there is probably more than one thing at play here and bits and pieces of the answers seem to be laying all over the place.

 

On thing is for sure, the answers that modern psychiatry gives is far from the truth and is a simplification. Or at the very least they say they don't know what caused it. Yet if we sit down and talk for a minute, listen to what I have to say, we might find the reason and what caused it.

 

The problem is, the answer is most likely beyond the scope of their education, and we hardly find anyone who is open minded enough to consider other factors as likely options of the cause of these 'diseases'.

 

In all cases, it's like you said, some have an extra responsibility in solving the 'problems' that stem in 'psychosis' and we can build strength and problem solving skills by having the right diet and intake of all vital nutrition. This can be had through vitamins, supplements and fish oils. Meditation and exercise will also equip you for fighting off these 'demons'.

 

I do find myself, even after all this 'severe' case of pschizoeffective disorder, that I am still stronger than I have ever been.

 

It could be otherwise, if I had given up then things would not be the same. I was bedridden. 

 

I hope all can find that small light within themselves when things are downright looking nasty and feed that light with positive fuel so they can rise above all these "problems" and solve them from a higher consciousness not just for themselves, but also for all of humanity.

 

 

Just gotta find that little light, and feed it high octane fuel to light up your whole being.

 

 

As for the doctor's willingness to comply with my demands of lowering my dosage. I have pretty much given her no option but to comply. Or else I'll fire her. The ultimatum method.

 

I have already proven her wrong many times with my reduction of meds including invega (half original dose now), taking off chlonazepam and others when she was insisting that I not. 

 

So I don't know where shes going to find it in her to retaliate against me to switch to pill form/drop it etc.

 

I've already started the process of getting a new psychiatrist, so she knows, if she wants to keep me as a client, then she will need to comply. And I am an informed, aware and conscious client, thankfully. In all cases, I do believe that she wants to continue working with me, is what I feel.

 

In all cases, I am not going to reduce nor play with anything right now. I am feeling very good and content. Every time I have been dropping a dose (given that they were large reductions (50%, 25%)) I felt like **** and my life was turned upside down.

Next time will be max. 10% of course but I want to be 100% ready too, just in case anything does happen.

 

I believe thats all for now

 

Thank you v. much JanCarol, Shep and all contributors to this thread, you have made my life easier.

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JanCarol

Hey Hey Lui!

 

You're welcome!  If we can get you through this and drug free - that is my goal in life, to help free people from this oppressive system.  Sort of a psychiatric Underground Railroad - if I gave you food or shelter for a night, I can only hope it is enough to see you free.

 

Just gotta find that little light, and feed it high octane fuel to light up your whole being.

 

 

I've been looking at this.

 

You can be in the blackest night, the darkest cave - and it only takes a tiny candle to light the darkness.

 

That's the thing about light, it is so much more powerful than the darkness.

 

The darkness - has to be total - in order to blind someone, but the light need only be a tiny spark, a flickering flame - to eliminate dark.

 

So maybe you don't need the "high octane" approach.  

 

Just respect the darkness, and illuminate it as you find it, and learn from it.  What lives in that darkness, is what has been driving your dis-ease (not a biological disease, but a "lack of ease"), and is probably what sent you to the doctors to begin with.

 

It's probably easier to take if you bite it off in smaller, candle-sized chunks, than if you turn on the 10,000 candlepower lantern and see it all at once.  Just in my experience - it's easier to open a shaken coke bottle just a little at a time, then wait, tap it down, and try again.

 

A little light - is a powerful thing!

 

Glad to hear your thoughts on this!  I cannot counsel in PM, and I understand the personal nature of these things, but I will address whatever I can here in your thread.  (look to the spiritual emergency resources, there may be a place there where you can explore the details of your dark cave!)

 

I hope you see the Sun today!

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Shep

 

I also have another question.. which is, how will my psychotic episodes disappear after i am done weening off the medications.. 

 

Did I just magically heal from them.. I hope so.. but what do you guys say?

 

 

 

In all cases, it's like you said, some have an extra responsibility in solving the 'problems' that stem in 'psychosis' and we can build strength and problem solving skills by having the right diet and intake of all vital nutrition. This can be had through vitamins, supplements and fish oils. Meditation and exercise will also equip you for fighting off these 'demons'.

 

I do find myself, even after all this 'severe' case of pschizoeffective disorder, that I am still stronger than I have ever been.

 

 

 

 

I like to take a question from weeks ago and "solve" it with current words. These are your words, woven into your narrative. You are becoming your own "healer".  :)

 

You sound stronger, Lui, insightful and wise.

 

This is how we solve the problem of extreme states (I prefer this to terms like psychosis, but we all have to come to our own words that help us cope). 

 

This is a "process" that let's us develop over time. No sure answer. No quick fix.

 

Take one non-drug coping skill at a time, the kinds you've written about. Better diet. Add some meditation and then some exercise. You mention spirituality - add that in with prayer, song, dance, grounding in nature, or however and whatever "spirituality" means to you in all it's infinite and beautiful forms (being careful of not doing anything too noticeable that could lead to you being "caught" back in the mental health system). Add in the knowledgable drug taper schedule that JanCarol posted for you so you can safely come off the drug. 

 

Add in time spent reading on this forum about all the beautiful people who survived this and went onto have productive and healthy lives of meaning. 

 

Add in these things that build you up. And take away the things that bring you down. Take away things like harmful and toxic drugs. Take away things like psychiatric labels. Learn to cope with painful traumatic memories so these memories can also be subtracted and happier memories allowed to take over. And don't forget - after you heal, you'll go on to make more happy memories. That's part of "process". 

 

And in this adding and subtraction, you will find the formula for healing. 

 

Keep posting updates, Lui. You're doing great. 

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LuiB

 

So perhaps I need to find a combo of the 50mg injection and the 3mg pill however that combo will end up making take more invega than i am taking now.

 

 

OK the depot thing is complicated.

 

I've known people to go quite off their trees at the end of the month, waiting on their depot shots.  

 

3 mg = 90 mg injection (on the date of the injection).

 

So here's a plan:

Stay on the 78 mg injection until the new year.  

 

You think you are stable on the 78 mg injection now, right?  That's good!  Stay there, and don't change anything yet!

 

Get 3 mg Invega tablets from your doctor.

 

When you are on your LAST MONTH before getting ready to get injected, take the injection.  78 mg.

After 7 days, add 1 mg of tablet.

After 14 days, increase to 2 mg tablet

after 21 days, increase to 3 mg tablet.

 

Then, when the shot wears off at 4 weeks (28 days), you will be converted over to 3 mg of Invega per day. 

 

If you want to take exactly 78 mg, that would be 2.6 mg, but I am trying to keep the maths simple.  If you want to do liquid tapering, this is quite possible (see below).

 

The goal is to make the transition over to the tablet in one month.  You will be actually increasing your dose slightly, but once you are on the tablets, you will be in control of your taper.

 

So then, for at least a month, take the 3 mg tablet daily (at the same time every day).  Make sure you shake out all the symptoms of the transition.

 

After that, you will be ready for a 10% taper.  In order to make your 10% taper (since the smallest pill size is 3 mg), you will need to learn the following:

Dry Cutting:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2021-how-to-cut-up-tablets-or-pills-using-a-pill-cutter/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1596-using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses/

 

Liquid Taper:

How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-using-an-oral-syringe-and-other-tapering-techniques/

 

Because of the small dose of 3 mg, I recommend making your own liquid.  It really is easier to make precise doses.  WIth the liquid, you can use the following schedule to add the tablets in:

Day 7 = .9 mg tablet (in liquid)

Day 14 = 1.8 mg tablet (in liquid)

Day 21 = 2.6 mg tablet (total 78 mg equivalent)

 

What do you think?  Does this sound possible for you?  Is your doctor amenable to switching you over to tablets for a gentle taper?

 

You've been through the symptoms, and you recognize that they do go away or diminish with time - do you think you have the discipline to do this slowly and carefully to minimize symptoms?

 

The decision is yours, but I think I've laid out a possible course to navigate through the complexities of converting a depot shot to a tablet.

 

PS - I love your handsome kitty cat on your videos!  Wow!

 

 

JanCarol, I saw my psychiatrist today and things are looking very good. I am lucky to have a cooperative psychiatrist who started to believe in me and that getting off the meds could be possible in her eyes.

 

In all cases, we discussed different tapering methods and apparently what u mentioned here, that a 3mg pill form is actually not the same as a 90mg injection.

 

This does stem to be true because my naturopathic doctor showed me a chart with equivalencies and the calculation seems to be quiet complex.

 

So I would appreciate it if you would provide some resources that would solidify your claims for tapering off. I mean that would be great.

 

I will be seeing my naturopath in the beginning of Jan and see what he has to say and the charts that he gave me.

 

I may have a copy I will also look for it, in addition to checking the thread on invega.

 

Getting off these drugs is a priority for me now because I had a problem getting intimate a few days ago so I have a new level of detest for these things.

 

Thats all for now

 

Wish me the best

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Shep

Hi, Lui.

 

How are you feeling? 

 

Please give an update when you can. 

 

Wishing you a good New Year and lots of healing. 

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LuiB

I'm doing fantastic. My sexual energy is not the strongest point however. My prolactin are on the high level and my testosterone is in the normal range however at the lowest end of the spectrum. These are highly likely due to the medications.

 

They have to stop.

 

I have an appointment with my naturopath next week where I will address these concerns and we'll try to figure out the best method to go about lowering the dose. As I plan on lowering it the next time it is due, however with consciousness. Maybe doing a 50mg injection along with 3mg pill or something. Not sure how to calculate it so that i am not that much higher nor go below the 10% mark for now.

 

Perhaps just switching altogether to pill form since there is a variety of 6 and 9 mg also. Since that is the case, then I would imagine it would be easier to taper off with that path than it would be with the injection. So perhaps its about time to do away with the injection in order to gain more control of everything.

 

So things seem pretty clearer now, and I am hopeful of the future.

 

I'm not going to lie, there is some fear because I do not want to live with any kind of suffering. I relaize that life requires sacrifice.

 

So I want to make the right decisions in keeping my mental stability, as well as keeping my long term health both mental and physical.

 

So it's tough and along with you guys and my naturopathic doctor who is also available to me by email pretty much 24/7 i am confident that i can go forward with this.

 

Again, I just hope that whatever I have been afflicted with is manageable with the absence of prescription drugs.

 

P.S. I am taking natural supplements for my prolactin and Testosterone

 

Thanks for checking up on me

 

All The Best

 

Lui

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Shep

Thanks for the update, Lui. You sound good.  

 

Yes, going to the pill will definitely give you better control over your taper. It may be a bit of a jagged ride during the transition, though, so please be prepared to use all of the great non-drug coping skills to "not get caught", as we say. 

 

Please keep us updated. 

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LuiB

I spent the most part of 2018 in prison. Twice I was incarcerated at two different prisons one in Toronto the other in Kingston, Ontario.

 

I don't know what to write.

 

I was under a treatment order at one point while I was in Kingston due to me being 'unfit to stand trial'.

 

I was homeless after I got out of prison the first time and went through many adventures.

 

I felt good during most of the time however I lost everything (all my belongings). I was evicted from my apartment during my first incarceration etc.

 

Getting back on track is proving to be a difficult ordeal because I also don't have any of my identifications.

 

I am back on Invega after being off of it for more than a year.

 

Family is insisting that I stay on it due to what happened to me when I got off. I did not contact my family for that year nor even during the time in-between when I was out of prison.

 

It seems that I got back in-touch with my family after having the invega injected (while under a treatment order being hospitalised while incarcerated).

 

Right now, my thoughts are around the fact that the drug is helping.

 

That without it I am just somewhere else.

 

However, I do feel like crap while I am on it. It is sort of a feeling of heaviness, laziness and lack of creativity.

 

I am unsure of how to go about this situation.

 

Perhaps stay on the drug but at a lower dose (I'm at 150mg/3 weeks now)

 

Perhaps acupuncture and/or Zen Shiatsu will help.

 

I will be scheduling an appointment with my naturopath soon. I have already sent him an email.

 

Your thoughts are well appreciated.

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Altostrata
On 2/1/2019 at 10:58 AM, LuiB said:

However, I do feel like crap while I am on it. It is sort of a feeling of heaviness, laziness and lack of creativity.

 

I am unsure of how to go about this situation.

 

Perhaps stay on the drug but at a lower dose (I'm at 150mg/3 weeks now)

 

Hello, Lui. Your idea is a good one. This is an injection, correct? I would talk to your doctor about going on a lower dose next month because of the side effects of 150mg.

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LuiB
On 2/2/2019 at 4:26 PM, Altostrata said:

 

Hello, Lui. Your idea is a good one. This is an injection, correct? I would talk to your doctor about going on a lower dose next month because of the side effects of 150mg.

 

Yes, an injection.

 

The side-effects are unbearable and I am not sure what to do. My family fears me to get off the 'meds'. Thy don't want me to.

 

I was really mean to them when I was off the meds at some point and I hate to admit, some of my behaviour was erratic during episodes and I was perhaps, how you might say it, "schitzo".

 

Although I ended up homeless, living on the streets I felt good, until I was arrested for a crime I did not even commit.

 

Being incarcerated was the worst, and there is a fear because I do not want that to ever happen to me again.

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LuiB
On 1/3/2017 at 8:05 AM, Shep said:

Thanks for the update, Lui. You sound good.  

 

Yes, going to the pill will definitely give you better control over your taper. It may be a bit of a jagged ride during the transition, though, so please be prepared to use all of the great non-drug coping skills to "not get caught", as we say. 

 

Please keep us updated. 

 

Did I get caught?

 

Any tips now, after the ordeal?

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Altostrata
On 2/2/2019 at 1:26 PM, Altostrata said:

I would talk to your doctor about going on a lower dose next month because of the side effects of 150mg.

 

Is there some reason you can't talk to your doctor about getting a lower-dose injection next month?

 

You can see how you do on a lower dose. If you're okay, this may reassure your family.

 

Invega Sustenna comes in 39 mg, 78 mg, 156 mg, and 234 mg doses for injection. You can get an injection that is 78mg + 39mg = 117mg.

 

The next time you get an injection, it can be lowered to 78mg. After that, 39mg.

 

I would not switch to tablets until you get the lowest-dose injection. Then start on tablet the next time an injection is due.

 

While you taper, you must be careful not to behave in a way that would cause you to get arrested or hospitalized, because you will be put on even higher dosages of drugs.

 

Read

 

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LuiB
29 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

 

Is there some reason you can't talk to your doctor about getting a lower-dose injection next month?

 

You can see how you do on a lower dose. If you're okay, this may reassure your family.

 

Invega Sustenna comes in 39 mg, 78 mg, 156 mg, and 234 mg doses for injection. You can get an injection that is 78mg + 39mg = 117mg.

 

The next time you get an injection, it can be lowered to 78mg. After that, 39mg.

 

I would not switch to tablets until you get the lowest-dose injection. Then start on tablet the next time an injection is due.

 

While you taper, you must be careful not to behave in a way that would cause you to get arrested or hospitalized, because you will be put on even higher dosages of drugs.

 

 

Altostrata,

 

I cannot do this alone again. I do not want to do it alone again.

 

I am currently looking for a centre of some sort that is designed to help individuals in this kind of situation, perhaps maybe a meditation retreat centre of some sort that is aware of my circumstances.

 

Somewhere that has an 'in-patient' facility or a residence.

 

I would like the same kind of attention that is given in hospitals to make sure that I am well, on the right track and that I remain that way.

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Altostrata

I agree, a special center would be best for support while you minimize antipsychotics.

 

You do not need to go to a special center to get a lower-dose injection.

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LuiB
6 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

I agree, a special center would be best for support while you minimize antipsychotics.

 

You do not need to go to a special center to get a lower-dose injection.

 

Yes, I am planning to get a lower dose injection anyhow.

 

Are you familiar with any "special centers"?

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